'House of the Dragon' Star Matt Smith Gives First Interview on 'Game of Thrones' Prequel Series: 'I'm Looking Forward to Riding a Few Dragons'

Actor Matt Smith gave his first interview since being cast in House of the Dragon on Saturday, during the virtual event GalaxyCon. Smith said that he is excited for this project, both for the people he'll get to work with and the role he'll get to play in the Game of Thrones prequel. He did his best to stay spoiler-free, but gave a hint about the character he'll be playing, Prince Daemon Targaryen.

HBO has officially announced four lead characters in its Game of Thrones spin-off, House of the Dragon. That includes Doctor Who alum Smith, who was asked this weekend what excites him the most about the project. He responded: "Everything! I think it'll be a really exciting cast, I think it's a wonderful legacy to be a part of, and a wonderful world, and it's a great part. And, without saying too much, yeah I'm just sort of looking forward to riding a few dragons."

"If I get to!" Smith added hastily. "I mean I don't know — who knows? Who knows what sort of goes on in this world?" Saying that Smith will be riding dragons doesn't give away much since he shares a house name with Daenerys Targaryen of the original series. Still, it sounded like Smith was trying to keep the mystery alive for fans who have not read the book this prequel is based on, Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin.

"I'm looking forward to getting started, and I think, hopefully, with the people involved, it could be really exciting," Smith concluded.

House of the Dragon comes from writer and showrunner Ryan Condal, in close collaboration with Martin, the author. It also features acclaimed Game of Thrones director Miguel Sapochnik as showrunner and executive producer, ensuring that the show will have the same visual spectacle as its predecessor. In fact, it may have more, as Smith alluded to since this part of Martin's epic saga features far more dragons and dragon riders than the original series did — often on opposing sides of the battlefield.

Smith plays one of those central combatants — a grizzled, middle-aged Targaryen with a history of arrogance. His casting was announced last week along with Emma D'Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower. The show had previously cast Paddy Considine as King Viserys Targaryen, and according to a report by Deadline, it may soon confirm Danny Sapani as Lord Coly Valaryon.

House of the Dragon is set roughly 180 years before the main events of Game of Thrones, at the height of House Targaryen's rule over Westeros. It concerns a civil war among the dragon-riding monarchs for control of the Iron Throne. The events of the show are based on the latter half or so of Martin's recent fictional history book, Fire & Blood, which is available now in print, digital and audio formats.

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House of the Dragon is set to begin filming in the U.K. in 2021. The show is expected to premiere in 2022 on HBO.